JUNE 2012 SOLSTICE IZAPA CONFERENCE
Actualizado: 20 jul 2019
In the days around the June summer solstice (6/20), The Maya Conservancy (TMC) sponsored an innovative symposium that brought together Izapa scholars and modern Maya representatives. Georgeann Johnson, president of the TMC and sister of Mary Lou Ridinger (of Jade Maya fame), said of the event: “Our recent trip to Izapa was exciting! We had two days of speakers, planetarium shows, and site visits. It was the first time that the dedicated ‘Izapanistas’, Garth Norman, Abelino Becerra (from Tapachula) and John Major Jenkins were able to meet and give a conference together. Speakers from the TMC board included Vincent Stanzione, John Major Jenkins, Garth Norman, Mary Lou Ridinger, Mark Van Stone; also a panel of Maya presenters headed by Roberto Poz from Zunil; Maya journalist Victorino Tejaxon; and local INAH representative Victor Ortiz. It was a lot of complex knowledge to try to absorb in two days, but we were happy that we were able to do as much as we did.” 15 travelers accompanied TMC on this trip and approximately 50 people from Tapachula joined our presentations and the trips to the site of Izapa.
The Dedication of Stelae 11 and 25
Heave … ho! The replica of Stela 25 is unloaded in Group A. It will be permanently placed in the same spot where it once stood 2,200 years ago. A b/w photo of the original Stela 11 as it stands in Group B, details enhanced by Garth Norman.
Stela 25 from Izapa contains astronomical references that visually portray a scene from the Popol Vuh in which Hunahpu’s arm is torn off by Seven Macaw. John Major Jenkins believes the stela embodies a dialectic between two parts of the sky – the Big Dipper polar region and the “head” of the Milky Way crocodile near Sagittarius.
Both areas are “crossroads”, major Maya creation centers. Stela 11 is considered bymany to be a solar deity (First Father) in the “dark rift” or “birth canal” of First Mother, in the Milky Way. It is during our time that the solstice sun aligns with the crossroads creation center near Sagittarius on not only an Ahau day, but also a Winter solstice – the very focus of attention this year, on Friday, December 21.
The Maya Conservancy commissioned replicas of Stelae 11 and 25 that were created by stela carvers from Copán. They were delivered across two borders, from Honduras, through Guatemala to Mexico. On their June excursion to Izapa, the TMC donated both replicas to INAH officials. 404-680-9703 INAH’s regional museum in Tapachula.